Health and DisabilityPrevalence of auditory verbal hallucinations in a general population:A group comparison study

Research Area: Research Year: 2015
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Epidemiology, hearing voices, clinical and non-clinical hallucinations
Authors: Kråkvik, Bodil; Larøi, Frank; Kalhovde, Anne Martha; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Kompus, Kristiina; Salvesen, Øyvind; Stiles, Tore C; Vedul‐Kjelsås, Einar
The present study was specifically designed to investigate the prevalence of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in the general population, and sought tocompare similarities and differences regarding socio-demographics, mental health and severe life events between individuals who have never experiencedAVH with those who had. The study also aimed to compare those who sought professional help for their experience of AVH with those who had notsought help. Through a postal questionnaire, 2,533 participants ages 18 and over from a national survey completed the Launay-Slade Hallucinations Scaleand other measures examining AVH characteristics and other areas related to AVH. In total, 7.3% of the sample reported a life-time prevalence of AVH.Those with AVH were more likely to be single and unemployed, reported higher levels of depression and anxiety, and experienced a higher number ofsevere life events compared with those without AVH. Only 16% of those who experienced AVH in the general population sought professional help forthese experiences. Compared to those who did not seek professional help, participants that had were more likely to experience AVH with a negativecontent, experience them on a daily basis, undergo negative reactions when experiencing AVH, and resist AVH. In conclusion, the prevalence of AVHwas found to be relatively high. The results also revealed higher levels of reduced mental health for individuals who sought professional help, followed bythose who did not, compared with those who had never experienced AVH.
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